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Jets Coaching Candidate of the Day: Dave Toub

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs-Training Camp Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

With Todd Bowles likely on the way out at the end of the season, we are going to take a look at some of the potential candidates to replace him. Whenever we do something like this, there are some typical criticisms that always pop up like, “Why profile this guy? He stinks!” and “He won’t be interested.” We aren’t just profiling the good candidates or suggesting these people are all likely to take the job. We are simply looking at people the Jets could reasonably expected to call.

Today’s candidate: Dave Toub

Category: NFL Assistant

Current Job: Kansas City Chiefs Assistant Head Coach and Special Teams Coordinator

Years of NFL Coaching Experience: 18

Head Coaching Experience: None

Ties to Jets: None

Pros:

  • Outstanding coach. His special teams units in Chicago and Kansas City have been in the top ten of Football Outsiders’ DVOA every year since 2006.
  • Highly respected in the league.
  • Has worked in major markets like Chicago and Philadelphia, which at least have given him a taste for the pressures of New York.
  • Part of the Andy Reid coaching tree.
  • Current job in Kansas City gives him access to the pipeline of Chiefs coaches as he builds his staff on the offensive side of the ball.

Cons:

  • Has never been a head coach before.
  • Hiring him wouldn’t generate a ton of hype.

The Bottom Line:

I think I gave it away a bit with the cons. There are only two, and the part about not generating much hype SHOULD have zero impact on the coaching search. It should be about finding the best possible coach.

I think in the Jets’ situation people frequently mistake searching for a head coach with searching for an offensive coordinator. I get that. The Jets have been bad on offense for a long time. They have hired mostly coaches from the defensive side of the ball. And now they have a young quarterback to develop.

The thing is there isn’t much correlation between hiring an offensive coordinator and having success. A lot of the great quarterbacks in the league developed under head coaches without a defensive background, and plenty of offensive coordinators turned head coach have whiffed at trying to develop young quarterbacks.

There is an odd bias in the NFL against hiring special teams coordinators as head coaches. For years everybody who followed the Jets knew Mike Westhoff was the best coach of the staff. Whenever the Jets had a coaching vacancy, however, he’d get nothing more than a token interview. It’s odd because unlike offensive and defensive coordinators, special teams coordinators work with players on both sides of the ball and have to come up with creative ways to utilize players at the bottom of the roster. That’s pretty good training for a head coaching job.

Connor Orr wrote a great article early in 2018 about Toub’s plight.

Around the league, analysts will line up to suggest that a special teams coordinator cannot elevate to the head coaching gig anymore. It’s hard for them to accumulate an offensive and defensive staff. It’s hard for ownership to sell the hire. It won’t drive season ticket sales. The push to find the next 31-year-old wunderkind is on.

Jason LaCanfora also spelled out the case for Toub two years ago.

A personnel exec who used to work with Toub, 54, said: “If Dave Toub can’t get a job in this league, then I give up. Talk to other coaches in the league. They know who is for real and who is horseshit or the flavor of the month. This guy can coach a football team. He’d be the first guy I’d talk to, and it isn’t even really close.”

It really is kind of amazing how much these searches are based on hype. Owners want to be able to sell the next hot coach running a designer system. What they really should do is find the best leader for their team.

I couldn’t guarantee you that Dave Toub is the next great NFL head coach. Some guys just aren’t capable of successfully moving from assistant into the head job, even if they are widely respected in the league (Todd Bowles).

I can tell you, however, that I would be very optimistic if this was the hire the Jets made. It seems like everybody in the know in the NFL raves about what a great coach Toub is.

And if you want that designer offense, Toub happens to be employed by the team with the best scheme in the league. If he is half as good as people say he is, I’m sure he’d bring over some colleagues to import that system.